Thank you, Ms. Kwan. I think all you said is true.
As an example, when the first group of refugees arrived in Vancouver, many of them were housed in temporary housing in the Vancouver area. Many of the hotels were housing them. It got to a point where, many months after their arrival, they weren't finding housing. Then, 30 families were earmarked and moved to Surrey to yet another temporary housing situation. There was a huge hotel. We could accommodate them.
Thirty families were there for well over a month and there were three agencies, i.e., Options Community Services, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, all major settlement service providers, were charged with helping them find housing. It took a while. As you say, many of the family units are large.
The housing east of Vancouver in Surrey is less expensive but still very expensive in proportion to the financial support they get, as you said yourself. It takes up the bulk of the allowance. Regardless, it took a long time, but we did a lot of back and forth with landlords to find them housing.
One of the challenges is also the refugees' expectations, lack of information, and lack of facts. It took a while for us to explain the housing situation in greater Vancouver and in Surrey as well. It took a while to house them. We did find accommodation within Surrey for the bulk of them. There were a few families who did not manage to find housing. They were turned back to Vancouver, to the Immigrant Services Society of BC. That is the RAP service provider.
I want to agree with you, in that when we were finding housing, it was really difficult to find affordable housing within Surrey, and we did try to work with our counterparts in Langley and beyond to find housing as well.